On November 11, 2000, Wildmind’s website went live for the first time. We didn’t realize it at the time, but that meant that Wildmind’s 11th birthday would fall on 11.11.11!
Wildmind was started by Bodhipaksa while he was a grad student at the University of Montana. He’d recognized that at that time there was very little reliable information on meditation on the web. It had occurred to him that since people often learned meditation from books and cassette tapes (remember them?), the internet was the perfect place to bring together text and audio, providing structured, self-paced guides to Buddhist meditation practices.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Bodhipaksa was able to spend a summer putting together the materials for the website. A number of friends pitched in to help. A local Buddhist businessman called Pat Lawler put up the funds to get the site established. Pat also suggested the idea of running online courses, which first started in the Spring of 2001.
Two friends, Beth Chevalier and Roger Hyam, helped with web design and coding. Later a professional designer, Heidi Harting-Rex, redesigned the site from the ground up. Here’s her original design:
As you can tell, the site’s been through a few redesigns since then.
Also since that time, Wildmind has gone on to publish a number of guided meditation CDs, continues to run online meditation courses, and runs workshops using videoconferencing.
The original website has continued to expand, with more self-paced introductory material on meditation than ever before. Our website now attracts over a million visitors a year!
We of course now have a blog, through which we publish book reviews, articles on practice, and every significant news story on meditation that we can track down.
It’s been a great 11 years, and we’d like to thank each and every one of our visitors!